Christmas – celebrated in cultures around the world for over two millennia. On that very first Christmas a young girl, likely terrified about what was happening and what soon would happen as she had been feeling contractions and all the difficulty of early labor while traveling for miles, at best on a small colt. Mary may have wondered why Joseph at least didn’t order an Uber! Then again, there probably were only economy Uber donkeys available now so it wouldn’t have been any better than her colt and they needed to save money. Rome was taxing the palm leaves right off the trees! So Mary kept quiet.
No doubt the angels were protecting her and helping her along but this was still a natural human birth and pain is part of the process. Her husband Joseph may have been about her age or perhaps even considerably older, the Bible isn’t clear. He helped all he could but sometimes it’s best to just shut up and drive.
But as divine a night as this would become, it was also a very human night. Tired from travel, hungry, labor pains, needing a place just to lay down. Mary needed her husband to find them a place to stay. “Why had he not made reservations ahead of time?” She may have asked herself. All he had to do was call or go on line… oh right, that’s a couple of thousand years away… Mary thinks, “He could have sent someone a couple of weeks ago to go into town and made the arrangements “ The fact was he had not and now here they were in a very crowded city with no friends and not enough money to make a difference to an inn keeper this night. Mary was actually happy to have the bed of hay and straw to lay on, she would have taken anything at this point.
What was about to happen in this small cave that doubled as a barn would change the entire world forever. But even then, over two thousand years ago on the very first Christmas God was thinking of YOU and of me and of all of those down through the centuries for whom He sent His Son, Jesus to be their Savior, to receive and give them love, grace and forgiveness. Yes, we were on God’s mind this night so long ago and you know what is also so amazing? Every single moment from eternity past until now, every moment …you and I have been on God’s mind, on His heart. With all that is going on in the world, we were on God’s mind and in His heart.
The Bible teaches that we can grieve, that is we can break the heart of, the Holy Spirit who is of God and who IS God. Our actions, my actions break the heart of the omnipotent Ruler, Master, Creator of the Universe and all that ever was and all that will ever be. Why does He care so much that He gave His only Son to come to earth that night as a newborn baby, to live thirty plus years here teaching, healing, traveling, fishing, laughing and crying… being human all so that He could give His perfect life in our place and die so we may live? He came back again to life and lives now forever… that one night over two thousand years ago, Christ came and we can have a Merry Christmas! He came so that we might have LIFE and have it abundantly, the Bible says. That we can live with and for Him from now until eternity is over.. which it never is!
Sure you and I will break His heart over and over again but if our heart is right with His, those times will become fewer and He will always forgive us. I know I have not been the child God would want me to be, not even close. It seems the farther I travel in life the more I have the capacity for screwing up… are you like that too? I am betting I’m not the only one. We always seem to hurt those who love us the most and no one loves us more than God.
So, my Christmas wish for you is to get to know Christ. If you already know Him, get to know Him better. How? You ask. Spend more time with Him in the coming year that is my plan at least. I’m hoping that by spending more time with Christ and less time meddling in what the world has to offer, I will hurt God less and I will hurt those who love me the most less too.
Have a very Merry – Christ filled – Christmas! “Yule” be glad you did!